Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: “If I am mentally prepared for a jump, then I can train it constantly. Because I’m not the kind of person who will do things on orders.”
Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. About motivation, Alixei Mishin and life off the ice.
You are constantly talked about as a mature figure skater, all the articles with your results one way or another mention your age and the number of seasons that you spent on the ice. Does it annoy?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I have neither positive nor negative emotions about this. Yes, I’m really much older than other single skaters. And I take it absolutely calmly.
Many say that you are in your best shape now. How to keep this shape without losing motivation?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I don’t know if I’m in the best shape or not… (laughs). I have been trying to maintain this shape over the past years. How to keep it? Do not fall out of the training schedule, observe the training regimen and sleep schedule. If you fall out a little, it will be hard. And if you are constantly in the flow of training, then it is easier to keep in shape.
Do you see any specific goal in front of you?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I don’t know … I’m just interested in skating! I still feel the strength and enthusiasm in myself. Enthusiasm is just a motivation, I guess. Because without interest it would be difficult for me to skate. What else can I do, how elsr can I perform, what other programs can I show?..
The new season is different. You told reporters that the atmosphere of these domestic competitions is incomparable with international competitions. Where do you look for inspiration?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I find inspiration, probably, in the training process, because it is interesting. We choose the music for the programs, and this is also inspiration, at least for the beginning of the season, when you look forward to it. Well, just keep doing what you’re good at.
You used to have a lot of enthusiastic comments from foreign fans on social networks. Have their amount decreased in 2022?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: There are good comments from foreign people. I don’t know whether they are my fans or not.
For many years, there has been a lot of talks about the quadruple jump in women’s single skating. At the same time, the layman can only guesses how difficult it is. What is your relationship with this jump? On what does its performance depend more – on the body or on the head?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Now I am trying to prepare quadruple toe loop, to make this jump more or less stable. Of course, it’s difficult, because it is not an easy element. What does it depend on? Both on the head and shape. But for me it depends more on the head, of course. If I am mentally prepared for a jump, then I can train it constantly, every day. Now I am glad that this barrier is slowly being overcome. Because forcing me to do something when I’m not ready for it is very difficult. I’m not the kind of person who will do things on orders.
Chess player Anatoli Karpov said that the main thing in chess is to immediately forget about the game played. Is “forgetting” important in figure skating too? And how to do it?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: For sure bad skates should not be remembered, it is advisable not to watch them, because visually you adopt everything. It’s better not to think about it… although it’s difficult. If ordinary, normal performances, then you can watch and review them. But I have a rather working attitude to this. I don’t have such a thing that it is necessary to forget this or that performance or to see all the mistakes. Skated and that’s it. In principle, I do not review my performances more than once. It’s not so much difficult to turn off your head, but you just don’t want to watch it. Well that’s hoe it’s for me.
How does Liza Tuktamysheva live, off the ice, today?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I like to watch something interesting, for example, educational videos on YouTube. I’m trying to figure out what to do in the future, I’m taking some new steps for this. Now is the season when I am not fully immersed in figure skating. In addition, I have a lot of shows this season. I try to combine them with competitions. There are projects, shooting… The schedule is very tight now.
Some of your colleagues, for example, Shcherbakova, Sinitsina and Katsalapov, go headlong into television. Don’t you want to try yourself on the screen in the post-Olympic season?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It seems to me that I will have time to do this when I run out of strength or motivation in figure skating and professional sports. Because for me it is still in the first place and remains important.
Do you think you could pair up with someone on Ice Age? Or do you see obvious disadvantages in pair skating?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I would at least try. Am I afraid to skate in a pair? Perhaps I’m afraid. But you have to overcome your fears! Even if nothing comes out in the end … At least I woll be calm that I didn’t get scared, I tried.
You and Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin are an inseparable tandem. What is the secret of such strong cooperation?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Mutual understanding and mutual respect. These are the two most important rules. And we have it, and due to this we have such a strong working relationship.
What is the most important lesson Alexei Nikolayevich taught you?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: To enjoy life, probably … Because Alexei Nikolayevich shows it very “contagiously”! When he comes to training in a good mood, it energizes, you see this joy. I would also very much like to live up to his age with the same mood and just enjoy life! (laughs). And he once said: “Everything passes and this will also pass.” And I really liked this phrase, as if it doesn’t let you stop at some point – you continue to believe in something, hope appears.
Alexander Gorshkov has passed away. Irina Rodnina says that “He knew how to get along with absolutely everyone in figure skating, and there are not easy people.” Is it so?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Yes, it is absolutely true. He was very nice, very kind person! It was always a pleasure to talk to him. He was very responsive and helpful. He always praised with successful performances, with unsuccessful ones he could say words of support. Indeed, he worried about each athlete and wanted everything to work out for everyone … He had a big heart, a big soul. I am glad that I skated at a time when Alexander Georgievich was the president of our federation.
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